Zakaria: Few new jobs in the "tradable sector"
Y-Axis: Change in jobs, in thousands
January 18th, 2012
07:09 PM ET

Zakaria: Few new jobs in the "tradable sector"

By Fareed Zakaria, CNN

If you look at job creation over the last 20 years in America, you'll notice that we haven't been able to create any jobs in what is called the "tradable sector" of the economy – those jobs that are subject to global competition. The jobs we've created have almost entirely been in industries like health care, government and construction, which are basically local industries shielded from global competition.

You can't outsource the building of a New York skyscraper to a Chinese worker. You can't outsource a nurse. The other great force coursing through the economy – technology – has created new companies but it's had a more mixed record in creating tens of thousands of new jobs.

Note, this is not a partisan point. We've netted no new jobs in over 20 years. That's under Obama, under the Bush years with tax cuts, under Clinton with balanced budget and deregulation.

Most Americans sense that we are in a new world.

Y-axis: Jobs in millions

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Topics: Chart • Economy • United States

soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. sameh.soliman

    January 18, 2012 at 8:18 pm | Reply
  2. sameh.soliman

    January 18, 2012 at 8:18 pm | Reply
  3. sameh.soliman

    January 18, 2012 at 8:19 pm | Reply
  4. sameh.soliman

    January 18, 2012 at 8:19 pm | Reply
  5. j. von hettlingen

    Health care could be a tradable sector if the U.S. has innovative products and solutions to meet the challenges the world is facing – the aging population.

    January 19, 2012 at 4:31 am | Reply
    • Michael

      I think you're confused. "tradable" in this sense refers to jobs that can be done from any location globally.

      January 19, 2012 at 10:16 am | Reply
  6. arun bhalerao

    I recently read the book you recommended last week, i.e, "War made new". My book review on the same is written on my blog :
    For your benefit I have written it in English alongwith Marathi.
    My father ( editor of Marathwada of Aurangabad ) used to know your father very well.
    I do enjoy your GPS and eagerly await your recommending a new book.
    --Arun Anant Bhalerao

    January 19, 2012 at 6:27 am | Reply
  7. rightospeak

    Job creation that our politicians are talking about , Fareed, is a myth. We have been destroying jobs steadily for over a generation by importation of slave labor products under the banner of Globalization. You are right, very little has been done. If you were to present an investigative journalistic article on jobs destruction in the U.S for the last 40 years with charts of unemployed college graduates ,your readers may get a picture of how our economy was off shored and maybe you could offer some solutions on how to create jobs – that would be helpful.

    January 19, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Reply

    What I am hearing is that unemployed having hard time finding jobs and wonder why Obama doing nothing to priortize with corporations to hire those unemployed. New Jobs are being taken over by the those who are already employed and employers dont go crazy to fill positions and wait until it becomes a serious matter to fill replacements.

    January 22, 2012 at 12:50 am | Reply
  9. Howard

    Interesting. But what does it say except that Americans are being out-worked and out-competed by other countries? And what reason is there to outsource except for cheaper labor? We know that we have experienced a severe decline in our educational standards, no? We are on the decline.. an apparently inevitable cycle which befalls all nations once they reach the zenith of power. Unless we are reinspired to pursue the values and standards of our forefathers, it will only get worse.

    January 22, 2012 at 11:48 pm | Reply

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